Vice President Mike Pence’s Wife Under Fire for Working at a Conservative Christian School
Amanda CasanovaReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2019 Jan 16
Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, has accepted a part-time teaching position at a private Virginia school that requires employees to agree to certain religious beliefs.
Immanuel Christian School, a private K-8 school outside of Washington, requires those applying for teaching and support staff positions to sign or initial a set of standards, including living a “personal life of moral purity” and believing that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
“Moral misconduct which violates the bona fide occupational qualifications for employees includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as the following: heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites, and sexual abuse or improprieties toward minors as defined by Scripture and federal or state law,” the document says.
It’s not unusual for conservative private schools to require affirmation from its employees, said Robert W. Tuttle, a law and religion professor at George Washington Law School.
While some people were unphased by the school's requirements, others criticized the vice president's wife.
Author and comedian Tony Posanski wrote on Twitter, "I pay for Karen Pence’s housing. I pay for Karen Pence’s security. I pay for Karen Pence’s health insurance. All Americans do. So she needs to explain why it’s okay to teach in a place that discriminates against the LGBT community, who are Americans that pay taxes."
While another person simply wrote, "Despicable."
A spokeswoman for Pence, Kara Brooks, defended the Second Lady's actions saying, “It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack.”
According to Brooks, Karen had previously taught at the school for 12 years when Pence was serving in Congress. She will be teaching art.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Christopher Jue/Stringer